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Comment: Re:Cue "All we are is dust in the wind" (Score 1) 69

by Obfuscant (#47969395) Attached to: "Big Bang Signal" Could All Be Dust

Science still can prove, one way or another, the origins of the universe with science.

This is perhaps the textbook example of how science is misunderstood. Science cannot prove how something that was not directly observed happened. It can only disprove certain proposed mechanisms based on current observation and understanding.

So, when someone says that "the CBR proves the big bang theory is correct", what they actually should say is that "the CBR is consistent with the big bang theory". I.e., the former doesn't disprove the latter.

A good analogy is found in art. I have a painting on my wall here. It looks like a Van Gogh. It is painted in the same style as other paintings that are believed to be his. A chemist has taken a paint chip and measured the properties, and found it is consistent with paint used in Van Gogh's time. Another scientist has dated the canvas and it comes from that time period. All the science data is consistent with a painting by Van Gogh.

But it isn't a Van Gogh. It's a forgery.

All I can say is, were I a God able to create a Universe from a single word, I'd certainly be able to forge it to look like it was billions of years old. Or I could just as easily create the physical laws with the knowledge of the result.

I mean, if you are designing some object to be 3D printed, are you not the creator of that object even if it takes three hours for it to print out? You told the CAD program what you wanted, and the CAD program told the printer, it just took a bit of time. That's how Algore created the Internet, after all. He didn't do the actual work, he just spoke it into existence, so to speak.

Comment: Re:PROOF (Score 1) 180

by Obfuscant (#47969001) Attached to: Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

'We're going to debunk one of the biggest conspiracies in the world,' Herkelman said."

No, they demonstrated that the conspiracy theorists claims that the photograph was fake because there wasn't enough illumination given the position of the sun and lunar module are incorrect.

No, they didn't actually do that, and they had much grander claims about what they did, as I quoted from the summary. "We managed to create a fake photograph" doesn't disprove anything about any other photograph.

The additional "light source" is the reflection off Armstrong's suit, and not some sound stage.

The light source in their photo was from an astronauts hyper-reflective suit (they mention all the layers that go into it, as if anything below the first one or two would reflect much. If the top layers were so reflective, then there wouldn't be anything for the lower layers to reflect.) This does not prove that the light source in some other photograph was not a key light. Or, the photographer taking the photo on the sound stage was also wearing such a reflective suit -- they had one guy in a real astronaut's suit, they could just as easily have had two.

The claim is "there's no possible way this could have happened", and they showed one plausible way, thus negating the assertion.

The claim was actually that "this could only happen if". Claiming that something that did happen (the lighting) couldn't possibly happen at all is obviously incorrect, so it would have been trivial to disprove that claim forty years ago. Just show the photo!

Using modern technology to fake a photograph does not contradict the claim "this could only happen if" when that technology didn't exist, and it only shows that there is, indeed, yet another way to fake such a photograph.

It's a publicity stunt. It doesn't "debunk one of the biggest conspiracies in the world", it may potentially call into question one claim about one photograph. It is like saying that the conspiracy theory that JFK is still alive, or was shot by the CIA, or any number of related theories, are disproven because someone used a different style of rifle, or used a bullet made of tantalum instead of lead, while making the same kind of shot today.

This kind of argument is the same kind of erroneous argument that The Amazing Randi uses to debunk psychic phenomena. That he can duplicate those allegedly psychic phenomena using modern technology or magician's slight of hand tricks doesn't prove anything about the original phenomena other than there could be another explanation. To prove that Uri Geller was bending spoons using magic tricks and not his mind actually requires catching Uri Geller using magic tricks. To claim that it is LIKELY he is using magic requires a lesser amount of evidence, which is what Nvidia has accomplished here.

Nvidia saying "hey, look, we faked a moon landing photograph" using our fancy new hardware" is nice, but it doesn't prove the authenticity of any other.

Comment: Re:PROOF (Score 1) 180

by Obfuscant (#47968245) Attached to: Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

That Nvidia is in on the hoax!!!1!!one!!!!

Ummm, I really don't understand this. Nvidia was able to recreate an allegedly faked photograph, therefore proving the photo was not a hoax? Finding yet another way to create a hoax proves the first way of making that hoax didn't happen? Nvidia dropped a highly reflective astronaut suit into the CGI program to get the right lighting; NASA couldn't have dropped a key light onto the terrestrial "lunar" film set to do the same thing?

It is a wonderful publicity stunt, but as proof of anything other than how great the Nvidia renderers are it's meaningless. Will they next produce a CGI of bigfoot, thus proving that bigfoot exists?

Comment: Re:Your employer (Score 1) 158

by Obfuscant (#47968005) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Oh, no CTO? Too bad, so sad. Thou shalt fail, o maker of buggy-whips. Enjoy this moment while it lasts.

You're equating the "buggy whip/automobile" quantum leap with the "C/C#/C++/Ruby/Perl/python/haskell/lisp/whatever" language wars? Or "cloud/client/distributed/centralized"? Or even "sql/nosql"?

Do you also believe that "on a computer" is sufficient to justify issuing a new patent for something? I mean, if what language is being used to develop a product is such a major sea change that a company would fail for not changing at the right time, then changing from "by hand" to "on a computer" must be orders of magnitude more important, surely worthy of patent protection for the company of the CTO who has pushed for such critical innovation.

Comment: Re: Trolls are bad people (Score 2) 203

by Obfuscant (#47967883) Attached to: Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

Let me get this straight. So if somebody you don't actually know, who is probably located thousands of miles away from you, makes an obviously harmful suggestion that isn't directed at you,

Most arguments where the word "obvious" plays a critical part are usually not so obvious. Just as "common sense" isn't.

Many of the things we take for granted today are magical black boxes to many people, based on the simple Clarke assertion: "any technology sufficiently advanced will be seen as magic". Remember that just a few years ago the simple analog cell phone was viewed as magic and people expected that the conversations they were transmitting in the clear over radio waves were private and they had some expectation of privacy. Infomercials routinely sell us small convection ovens as miracle cooking devices, and any man who has trouble peeing should buy this magical remedy.

In this hoax, we're combining the magical microwave oven and mystical cell phone made by the shamans at Apple. It would take a necromancer of the upper levels to realize that combining the white magic of the microwave with the black magic created by The Fruit That Cannot be Spoken would result in Bad Things.

Comment: Re:Why is this on Slashdot? (Score 1) 203

by Obfuscant (#47967709) Attached to: Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

If I bring it up around the dinner table before she (or anyone) asks, it may also save her some embarrassment.

Ah, what would you say had you not seen this? "Hey, never heard of that, sounds legit, let me get back to you."

Why yes, that's how I always bring things up at the dinner table. "Hey, I never heard of that". "What didn't you hear about?" "I dunno, what haven't you asked about yet?"

I think the OP was talking about making a pre-emptive comment, as in "bringing it up around the dinner table before she asks", as in "hey, did you hear the latest hoax about...". Not responding to someone else bringing it up as something they'd already done, also known as "AFTER she asks".

Comment: Re:Your employer (Score 1) 158

by Obfuscant (#47966999) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Personally, if a company isn't willing to invest in me, then why the hell should I invest in it?

Because they're paying you to?

(and yes, for anyone not a developer it will grow stale, even if you train yourself or pay for your own training, because you'll never use it in a practical work setting.

And having the company pay for training that you will never use in their practical work setting keeps you from going stale the same way? Or are you arguing that every company doing software development must switch to the lasted fad language and invest a large amount of money in converting the current systems so that the developers won't "go stale" by using the same tools that have gotten the company this far?

Now, don't get me wrong. There may be technical or other reasons to switch or expand into the latest fads. I'm just saying that "let's keep our developers on their toes by changing for no other reason than to keep them on their toes" isn't one of them. And when you accept that, then a company not paying to teach old people new tricks they'll never be using for that company is only an expense, not an asset.

Comment: Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (Score 1) 318

by Obfuscant (#47966267) Attached to: Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

That's up to the users of Netflix to report.

You must be nuts. You think the Canadian government should be asking everyone in the country if they are Netflix subscribers? Or that Netflix subscribers should have to register with the government? Don't be looney.

It's the job of the company paying the corporate income taxes to justify the amount of payment, not the job of every customer of that company.

Comment: Re:Your employer (Score 3, Interesting) 158

by Obfuscant (#47965881) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

CEO: "What happens if we don't, and they stay?"

CFO: "We get to keep a productive employee doing the things he's been doing well, without having to pay for his continuing education and a networking opportunity that may wind up drawing him away from us. I.e., we save money both by not paying exorbitant rates for professional conferences (who charge both the attendees and the exhibitors and thus make money from both ends of the candle), and by not having to go through the hiring process for his replacement. He's also easily replaceable and posting online that he's happy here, so the chances of having to find someone new are low and the cost of doing so is also relatively low. We may even be able to replace him with an H1B and pay less overall. "

The important question to ask is whether the conference will give you things relevant to what you are doing for your current company, or is it to gain new skills that will be useful someplace else.

Whether you expect your employer (the government) to pay for your education is your choice. You have a job you like, so unless you feel it is critical you go on their dime then you might want to keep the devil you know.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 1) 456

by Obfuscant (#47951885) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

I made i clear that I was expressing my opinion, not telling you what to do.

Telling me your opinion of what I should have done is still telling me what I should have done, because you telling me what I should have done is only ever going to be your opinion.

Does that mean you think I shouldn't express my opinion,

Nowhere did I say you didn't have the right to express your opinion. I was simply pointing out the irony of you telling me me what I should have said in the same article where you admit that telling other people what they should or should not do or say is beyond your control.

Comment: Re:ICANN sell to the highest bidder (Score 1) 64

by Obfuscant (#47951869) Attached to: Amazon Purchases<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.buy TLD For $4.6 Million

You're completely missing the point. Why should ICANN get to have a free money machine, and what do they intend to spend it on?

Maybe that's why I said the following in what you replied to?

The only issue would be where the money goes, not that Amazon got a TLD of its own. Who makes a profit from ICANN domain sales?

The issue seemed to be that Amazon was getting a TLD and ending competition and nobody else had any chance anymore. That's what the people I replied to complained about. Not the "free money machine".

Comment: Re:ICANN sell to the highest bidder (Score 1) 64

by Obfuscant (#47951165) Attached to: Amazon Purchases<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.buy TLD For $4.6 Million

Really? You don't think selling out an entire TLD is a little wonky?

No, I don't. It's not like there is only one and Amazon got it. There are a large number already and more will be created in the future.

but isn't this a little odd when ICANN could just create any number of bullshit TLD's and auction them off for huge profits to companies while everyone else has no chance?

So what if you can't get a domain in the .buy TLD? Big deal. The only issue would be where the money goes, not that Amazon got a TLD of its own. Who makes a profit from ICANN domain sales?

If you can't see that, then I worry about you.

Yeah, if I'm not all doom and gloom about one TLD, that didn't exist yesterday so already had no registrations, not allowing you to register a name tomorrow, it must be my problem and not one of chicken little's.

What is your problem? You couldn't have a domain name under .buy yesterday, you won't be able to get one tomorrow. What's the big difference? What's changed?

Comment: Re:ICANN sell to the highest bidder (Score 1) 64

by Obfuscant (#47950699) Attached to: Amazon Purchases<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.buy TLD For $4.6 Million

Now that Amazon has won, the competition is over, and the global Internet community can go broadly fuck themselves.

Yeah, because it isn't like anyone can go get a domain name in some other TLD and still have a viable and active web presence or anything. It's over. The Internet belongs to Jeff Bezos. Film at 11.

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader, but to protect the writer. -- Dean Acheson